Gary Reese, a longtime Accomack County teacher and coach, has announced is candidacy for re-election to the District 4 seat on the Accomack County School Board.
“As a retired teacher who spent 36 years teaching in Accomack County, for the past six years I have had the privilege of serving on the school board,” he said.
Reese grew up on a farm in the rural south central Virginia town of Chase City. He was the first in his family to attend college and went to Longwood.
“It was while at Longwood that I decided to pursue a career in education so that I could make a positive impact in students’ lives,” he said.
After graduation in 1981,he came to the Eastern Shore to teach in Accomack County.
“Soon after, I met my wife and we had two boys, both Accomack County schools graduates. Forty-two years later, I’m still trying to make a positive impact for all students of Accomack County as a dedicated school board member.”
“As a board member, I am only one of nine people who represent the children of Accomack County,” he said. “We on the board have no power by ourselves, but as a group can work together to move Accomack County Public Schools in the right direction. As a board, we are continually working on and approving projects that will make our schools better for our children, teachers, administrators, and staff.”
“In my last six years, the board has worked hard to retain our teachers, not only increasing teacher pay by 20 percent or more, but also increasing salaries for staff members as well,” Reese said. “We’ve been able to improve our facilities, making them safer both in and outside the classroom. We’re building new playgrounds and investing in playgrounds for students with special needs. We’ve also been able to invest in athletics, upgrading facilities at the elementary and high school level.”
“As a reminder, as a member of the school board, we don’t handle the day-to-day operations of the school system. Those duties are the responsibility of the superintendent, who we hire and evaluate. Instead, we set policy, develop the budget, oversee school upkeep, and ensure we are following all statutes, rules, and regulations of the state board of education. Most importantly, we protect children’s right to an education,” he said.
Reese said “we could not do our job without the help and support” of the parents of students.
“Parents are a vital partner, so feel free to reach out to your school board member to see what is happening in Accomack County Public Schools. If they are unable to assist directly, they can redirect you to someone who can. We all enjoy your support and are receptive to your concerns,” he said.
“I am only one member of a group that must work together for all the children of Accomack County,” Rreese said. “Now your job is to elect the nine best people to continue this important work, expanding on the progress we have made.”
Said Reese, “I would love to continue my 40-plus-year goal to ensure that all the children of Accomack County are able to receive the best education they can.”
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